Jun 21 2020

At the June 24, 2020 Piedmont Board of Education meeting, the Board will discuss the timeline and various scenarios for reopening the Piedmont schools in August.

Superintendent Randall Booker states in his report:

“During the June 24, 2020 Board of Education Meeting, I am asking the Board of Education to review and discuss my recommendation that Piedmont Unified students and educators return to campuses under a Blended Learning Model, rather than beginning the year under a Full Distance Learning Model. A Blended Learning Model is a weekly combination of In-Person and Online Synchronous, and Asynchronous Lessons (synchronous learning is online or distance education that happens in real time, whereas asynchronous learning occurs through online channels without real-time interaction). In other words, students would return to their respective campus for in-person instruction a few days per week and participate in online learning (a combination of synchronous and asynchronous) for the reminder of the week. “

Decision-making Timeline and Next Steps:

June 24, 2020 Board of Education Meeting -1st Reading of Recommended Blended Learning Model – No Action

June 29, 2020 Special Board of Education Meeting – 2nd Reading and Decision of the Recommended Blended Learning Model – Action Requested – 1st Reading of Calendar Committee Recommendation for Revised 20-21 Instructional Calendar – No Action

July 2, 2020 Special Board of Education Meeting – 2nd Reading and Decision of Calendar Committee Recommendation for Revised 20-21 Instructional Calendar – Action Requested – 1st Reading of Bell Schedule Committee Recommendation for Elementary and Secondary Daily Bell Schedules – No Action – 1st Reading of Board Policy 0470 – Covid-19 Mitigation Plan – No Action

July 7, 2020 Special Board of Education Meeting – 2nd Reading of Bell Schedule Committee Recommendation for Elementary and Secondary Daily Bell Schedules – Action Requested – 2nd Reading of Board Policy 0470 – Covid-19 Mitigation Plan – Action Requested 


pca VII_B_BackgroundReopeningSchools_0



Jun 21 2020

New Models for Social Justice: Police Reform Q&A, Part I” with Piedmont Police Chief Jeremy Bowers and Supervising Deputy Attorney General Nancy Beninati.

 Speakers will discuss potential policy changes in law enforcement to ensure fairness, justice and more constructive outcomes for our society as a whole. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, a national conversation is underway about police department reform.  Many questions have been raised about:  use of force, racial profiling, police training, defunding or eliminating police in schools, the role of police in nonviolent situations, racial injustice and social inequity, and  the role of our own community in the national conversation.

The talk will be on Zoom from 4-5 pm on Tuesday June 30.  The event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters Piedmont.  Speakers will present from 4:00 – 4:35 followed by Q & A moderated by Lorrel Plimier, newly elected President of LWVP. Participants may submit questions through the Zoom chat feature, Facebook, or email to lwvpiedmont@gmail.org.

For more information, visit www.lwvpiedmont.org. Event participation is limited to 100 individuals.

This Community Conversation is free and open to the public.

The League of Women Voters Piedmont  Speaker Series  will include Part II on this topic with another pair of featured speakers this summer. Other topics which will be covered in Series this summer include “Food Insecurity in Alameda County During COVID-19” and  “How to Understand Polls and Polling Literacy”.


Prior to his appointment as Chief of Police for the City of Piedmont in November of 2016, Chief Jeremy Bowers came to the Piedmont Police Department in September of 2014 as a Captain where he served as the Operations Commander.  Prior to joining the PPD, Chief Bowers was a member of the San Jose Police Department where he served for eighteen years and worked a wide-array of assignments during his time as an officer, sergeant and lieutenant. 

Chief Bowers was awarded the Mover of Mountains Award in Public Safety & Community Bridge Building by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley and was instrumental in the formation and operation of the Chief’s Community Advisory Board while in San Jose.  Chief Bowers received his undergraduate degree in the Administration of Justice from San Jose State University and Master’s degree in Criminology, Law & Society from the University of California, Irvine.  Chief Bowers is happily married to his wife Patricia Bowers, a sergeant with the Santa Clara Police Department, and both are the proud parents of three children. 


Nancy A. Beninati is a Supervising Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice where she has worked for the past 20 years.  She has represented numerous state agencies that engage in law enforcement, including the California Highway Patrol, Office of the Inspector General, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Ms. Beninati supervised the creation of the regulations implementing the Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015, and has overseen the Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board which, to date, has published three annual reports regarding racial and identity profiling in California. In addition, she is responsible for managing multiple police practices investigations and collaborative reform initiatives with local law enforcement on behalf of the Attorney General including the current matters involving the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Bakersfield Police Department, San Francisco Police Department and Vallejo Police Department. She has lived in Piedmont for 14 years, and is the immediate past-president of the League of Women Voters Piedmont.


Jun 18 2020

Alameda County Revises Shelter in Place Order, Loosening Restriction on Business

Face Coverings Remain Required

The Alameda County Public Health Officer has issued a revised order today, opening up more types of business, places of worship, and outdoor spaces in the county.

Highlights of this revised order include loosening restrictions on religious and cultural ceremonies; outdoor dining; indoor and outdoor retail; and permission to open dog parks, each are subject to stringent health and safety requirements. The order also requires that people exercising their first amendment rights (during protests or demonstrations) to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing of 6 feet at all times.

Alameda County face covering order remains in effect.

The order mandates that face coverings be worn at all times in public, if you are or are likely to be within 30 feet of another person outside of your household. 30 feet is roughly the length of 2 cars. There is NO EXEMPTION for persons engaged in exercise. The face covering does not have to be worn the whole time exercising, but it must be carried and then put on when within 30 feet of other people.

Dog off-leash changes to be announced Friday, June 19.

The City of Piedmont will closely examine this revised order and will announce a timeline for opening our off- leash areas by the close of business on Friday, June 19.

Click to read the revised order and the order summary.  Links are within the press release.> 2020-06-12 County Issues Revised COVID-19 Shelter In Place Order

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Jun 17 2020

“Piedmont is the highest taxed city in the area.”

Letter to the Piedmont City Council regarding increase in Piedmont taxes.

Table 4 of the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee (BAFPC) report provides scenarios of increased property transfer tax (RPTT) revenue based on alternative increases to the tax.  The analysis looks backward and provides you with increased revenue the city would have received over the past 10 years had these rates been in place.  That’s an understatement and I recommend you give direction to staff to conduct a fourth scenario that forecasts RPTT growth under the current tax rate that will occur based on the growth rate of the past 10 years.  This is very easy to do and will provide you with information to select the appropriate tax increase, if indeed one is needed at all. 
Three reasons: First, as the BAFPC analysis shows, Piedmont is the highest taxed city in the area and adding more taxes to that burden should be factually considered. Second, the Facilities Maintenance Fund is fully funded.  Third, as the Public Works Director said at your last meeting, facilities maintenance is on pace and substantial deferred maintenance has been achieved under current RPTT revenue.  As you know, the past 5 years have seen record RPTT receipts even in a period of declining sales so there is good reason to analyze whether the a tax increase is needed.

I have some questions for staff:

City Administrator:  the BAFPC recommended city staff dialogue with PUSD officials about how increases in city taxes might impact the District’s need for additional funds.  Can you elaborate on these discussions?

Finance Director:  even in the midst of the pandemic, you recently stated the real estate market is “robust”. Can you elaborate on your projection that revenue will drop by 29% in 20-21,  yielding a RPTT of $2.2M.  Is that due to a drop in the number of sales or home prices?

Assistant City Clerk; You stated that under the City Charter, a bond initiative might require two votes.  Can you elaborate on that and any conclusions?  If that were the case, some have suggested a facilities district as a way to avoid 2 votes. I recommend Council abide by the Piedmont City Charter.

Garrett Keating
Former Member Piedmont City Council 
Link to Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee report > Receipt of a Report from the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee on Financing Options for Improvement of City Facilities
Jun 13 2020

The Piedmont Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee’s recommendations are as follows:

Facilities Maintenance and Other Infrastructure Needs 

The Committee recommends an increase in the Real Property Transfer Tax (RPTT)  in order to meet the needs of the facilities replacement fund and other infrastructure needs on an average annual basis of at least $700,000 – $900,000. The Committee believes this increase should run in perpetuity until otherwise determined by the citizens that it is no longer necessary.

Capital Projects

The Committee believes that it is necessary and appropriate for the City to pursue debt financing for the City’s public building needs. Determining the amount of debt financing, and the scope of facility projects, will require public input and careful consideration by the Council.

The Committee recommends pursuing a parcel-based tax assessment. This is preferable to an ad valorem tax given that the facilities to be funded include primarily (or potentially exclusively) essential public services buildings benefiting all Piedmont residents. 

Despite current economic uncertainty, the Council should move swiftly in planning for the City’s most urgent facility needs, specifically the City’s police and fire stations, to take advantage of current low long-term interest rates, and the decline in local debt service burden occurring in 2021 and 2022.

Click below to read the full report.

PCA Receipt of a Report from the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee on Financing Options for Improvement of City Facilities



Jun 13 2020

For at least the second time in weeks, Piedmonters gathered to demonstrate in support of Black Lives Matter.  On Friday, June 12, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. a large group of Piedmonters congregated at the corner of Wildwood Avenue and Highland Avenue to march to Piedmont Main Park and listen to speakers.  

The Police Department issued a Traffic Alert:

We expect some roadways to be temporarily shut down as pedestrians gather and move through the area. We are asking vehicles to slow down, take alternate routes or avoid the area if possible.

Affected roadways: Highland Ave, Wildwood Ave, Magnolia Ave, Hillside Ave, Vista Ave, and Bonita Ave. Thank you and be safe out there!

Police cars escorted the demonstrators who filled the streets. 

Upon reaching Piedmont Main Park, children in the youthful crowd were told to remember their time supporting Black Lives Matter.  Speakers related their concerns and interest in making changes.  

Jun 10 2020

Face Covering Required Outdoors while Walking, Running, Biking, etc within 30 Feet of People from Other Households

From the Piedmont Police Department:

Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Eric Pan has issued a new Face Covering Order. The new Face Covering Order went into effect on June 8, 2020 and supersedes the prior Order. Face coverings must now be worn at all times by all members of the public, including outdoors while engaged in physical activities (walking, running, biking, etc.) and within 30 feet of people outside of their household.

“A face covering helps prevent transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19.” said Dr. Pan. “Everyone should wear a face covering anytime they are outside the home and around other people. This helps decrease the exposure for all of us and is one of the few tools we have that will allow us to decrease risk as we gradually allow for more activities outside the home.”

By ensuring that people generally wear Face Coverings when in public, the County is better able to continue to open businesses and resume activities in a safer manner to the benefit of all.

One of the strongest protections we, as a society, can implement as we continue to interact more in person is to increase our use of Face Coverings. Substantial scientific evidence shows that when combined with physical distancing and other health and safety practices like handwashing and regular disinfection of surfaces, wearing Face Coverings permits additional activities to be resumed in the safest possible way.

Face Covering Exemptions:

Those people with a written exemption from a medical professional due to a medical condition, health concern or disability, or anyone who has trouble breathing are not required to wear a face covering.

Children aged 12 and younger are not required to wear a face covering, and any child two years old or younger should not wear a face covering.

The Order does not apply if a person is only with members of their own household and does not expect to come into contact with a member of the public. A person engaged in walking, hiking, bicycling, running, and other physical activities is not required to wear a face covering during the entire duration of their activity, but that person must carry a face covering that is easy to access so they can wear it once they are within 30 feet of other people.

For a copy of the new Face Covering Order please use the following link:

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Jun 9 2020

Piedmont School Board Meeting Wednesday, June 10

The Black Student Union created a film where students share their experiences of being black at Piedmont and Millennium High Schools and the greater Piedmont community. Members from the BSU will introduce and share a clip of their film. 

  Recording of June 10, 2020 School Board Meeting  https://piedmont.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=2167

Click the link below for details on watching and participating via Zoom. 


Jun 9 2020

The Piedmont Unified School District has reopened Witter Field for community use. Individuals can access Witter Field from the Wildwood Avenue steps, Piedmont Middle School’s “PE Hill,” or the El Cerrito pedestrian gate. The Windsor Avenue gate, Wildwood Elementary School playground, baseball and softball fields, batting cages, and Witter Field House restrooms will remain closed until the District develops plans and schedules to sanitize facilities for safe use. Under the recent orders, individuals must wear face coverings when outdoors, including when engaging in physical activities such as walking and running, when within 30 feet of people outside of their household.

According to the County’s press release:

  • Everyone in all settings must wear a face covering where the public is present or likely to be, and at any time when others are nearby.
  • Children aged 12 and younger are not required to wear a face covering, and any child two years old or younger should not wear a face covering.
  • A person engaged in walking, hiking, bicycling, running, and other physical activities is not required to wear a face covering during the entire duration of their activity, but that person must carry a face covering that is easy to access so they can wear it once they are within 30 feet of other people.

Questions or comments? Please contact Director of Facilities Pete Palmer at ppalmer@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Click below for the full press release.

682020 – Reopening Witter

Jun 9 2020

Piedmont Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee

Thursday, June 11, 2020, 3:00 pm


1. Consideration of a Report to the City Council on Financing Options for Improvement of City Facilities –

Documents for the committee meeting have not been publicly released.

Click below for instructions on how to observe and participate via Zoom.  The meeting is open to all.  Minutes and videos are not kept of the meetings.

2020-06-11 Budget Advisory & Financial Planning Committee